All but four states use primary systems, and it’s a much more democratic and accessible process.
As of Friday, Feb. 7, we still don’t know who the official winner of the Iowa Democratic Caucus is. We have an idea, as Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg essentially tied in State Delegate Equivalents (don’t rack your brain on this, it’s stupid caucus terminology). Bernie Sanders claims to have won the popular vote by around 6,000 votes and yet has not been named the winner of this needlessly complicated process in Iowa.
There’s a reason why only four of 50 states hold caucuses in the U.S. They’re a pain in the ass and less democratic than primaries. Iowa, Nevada, Wyoming and North Dakota are the only states in the union to hold these asinine proceedings. The other 46 states hold a primary, like every state should.
Caucuses are completely outdated and should not even exist anymore. Caucuses only take place over the course of a few hours, whereas voters in primaries can vote anytime between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. and often have early voting options. What transpired on Monday was one of the most bizarre voting processes I had ever witnessed. Sanders had the most initial support and still had the most supporters after the second realignment. Yet, Buttigieg ended up with the most State Delegate Equivalents. That doesn’t make sense. Votes in certain areas of the state were clearly worth more compared to other areas. If one vote equals one vote, which by every democratic institution says it should, then this caucus system is inherently broken. It’s reminiscent of the Electoral College, which is also a disaster. A candidate should not lose an election after winning the popular vote.
The main issue this year stemmed from an app the Iowa Democratic Party attempted to use when reporting caucus precinct results. There are roughly 1,700 precincts in the state of Iowa. Voters could find them in schools, churches, college campuses and auditoriums across the state. Simply put, the app wasn’t working when precinct captains tried to report their results. Combined with the clogged phone lines and apparent return to the Pony Express in feudalistic Iowa, results have only crept slowly into the world of technology outside the land of soybeans, corn and nothing else.
Maybe the real mistake was pretending Iowa mattered for six months. Candidates have already moved on to New Hampshire as results are still pending. The Iowa Democratic Party had their moment, and they botched it in spectacular fashion.